Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity in North America
Duke Divinity School
Durham, NC 27708-0968
Ph.D., Duke University
M.A.R., Yale Divinity School
B.A., Macalester College
Kate Bowler is assistant professor of the history of Christianity in North America. Her first book, Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel (Oxford, 2013), traced the rise of Christian belief in divine promises of health, wealth, and happiness. She researched and traveled Canada and the United States interviewing megachurch leaders and everyday believers about how they make spiritual meaning of the good or bad in their lives.
She has written widely in scholarly journals such as Religion and American Culture and popular venues such as CNN, The Huffington Post and The Globe and Mail on topics ranging from the prosperity gospel’s music, gender politics, economics, political theologies, to its racial and denominational differences.
She recently received a sabbatical grant for researchers from The Louisville Institute to write a book tentatively entitled Co-Pastor: Women and Power in American Megaministry. It follows the rise of celebrity women who go by many names: pastors, co-pastors, executive directors, or, more commonly, pastor’s wives. They pitch their expertise in any number of ways, from women’s ministry directors to singers, bloggers, parenting experts, sex therapists, prophetesses, life coaches, and television hosts. Whether they stand alone on a stage or smile demurely at their husband’s catchphrase, they are leading women who play many parts: faithful wife, spiritual authority, and Hollywood celebrity.